How cognitive computing trends are supporting the consulting industry
Increasingly, today’s consulting firms have been engaging in cognitive computing initiatives in order to enhance their services to their clients. Within this advanced technology, such cutting edge terms are often bandied about as “data science,” “machine learning,” “deep learning” and “artificial intelligence.” Consultancies are launching varying solutions incorporating such technologies which include online courses, software platforms and even entire business divisions.
The Landscape of Cognitive Computing
Accenture recently launched its intelligent automation platform, Accenture myWizard, which aims to improve business outcomes of clients through artificial intelligence. Within this solution, machine learning technology of the tool actually collaborates with human co-workers. This intelligent automation offering can access knowledge across 40 industries.
Deloitte actually offered its clients an online course in cognitive computing. The purpose of the course was to aid client management in assessing and implementing cognitive computing within their organizations. Attendees learned the inner workings of artificial intelligence and other cognitive computing concepts, providing a framework for them to gauge whether it was suitable for their businesses.
IBM launched an entire business unit devoted exclusively to cognitive computing consulting, called IBM Cognitive Business Solutions. Based on the vast capabilities of IBM Watson and 2,000 individual human consultants, this service aims to aid clients in their analytics goals. Since many companies are now inundated with data -- including word processing documents, books, social media content, voice messaging and images – such a solution as IBM’s may be quite welcome if it can glean meaningful analytics from the vast data.
Consultancies are even now using the machine learning technologies of each other. In March, KPMG partnered with IBM in order to use the power of IBM Watson to help them enhance their management consultancy services. Lynne Doughtie, KPMG chairman and CEO, stated: “KPMG’s use of IBM Watson technology will help advance our team’s ability to analyze and act on the core financial and operational data so central to the health of organizations and the capital markets,” as reported in Robotics & Automation News.
Cognitive Computing Trends
With so many initiatives being undertaken regarding advanced analytics enhancements in modern day consulting, a consultant may wonder whether it should now be expected that a consultant work with such solutions. This question was discussed in a blog posting on TeamFit entitled “Will management consultants need software platforms to deliver services?” This blog suggests that, indeed, more sophisticated solutions may be expected by clients, but the technology doesn’t necessarily have to be incredibly expensive or at the bleeding edge of technology. A carefully crafted in-house analytics software may suffice in complementing a consultant’s skills in determining a solution to a given client’s problem. The writer also concludes that general overall intelligence and industry expertise may no longer be enough when assigning consultants to clients/projects. Instead, more granular skills, such as data analytics, may need to be gauged when matching a consultant to a project.
Beyond the consulting world, increasing numbers of industries and individual companies are recognizing the value of such concepts as artificial intelligence and affiliated topics. An article in Baseline entitled “Is Cognitive Computing Ready for Prime Time?” examined this trend, stating that multiple industries are already using or will soon be using this type of technology. Examples of industries interested in these technologies include banks, using behavioral analytics to guide customers to financial solutions and the hotel industry, using natural-language processing to locate ideal travel destinations. Analyst Lanny Cohen from Capgemini states that artificial intelligence and machine intelligence solutions “…should be viewed as something to implement within systems, business intelligence and processes, rather than something that is separate or siloed from the business."
There are endless possibilities regarding the new analytics technologies which may be unveiled in the future – including increasing capacities or speedier data crunching capabilities. If these technologies can bring insights from data that were previously unattainable, that capability may be eagerly anticipated by clients and consultants, alike.
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